Portland soccer fans might not have much of a reason to tune into this year's MLS SuperDraft due to the Portland Timbers trading away both their first and second round picks, but they should keep an eye on the convention at large because, the day after the SuperDraft, is the first annual NWSL College Draft.
The draft will consist of four rounds and the order will be determined by a blind draw. Once the order is set, the draft will be conducted in a "snake" format (i.e. the teams will select 1-8 in the first round, 8-1 in the second round, 1-8 in the third round and 8-1 in the fourth round). Teams will have a specific amount of time to make their picks in each round.
In total, 32 players will be selected through the draft. That's four players for each team. If we do the math, that's 3 players from USSF, 2 players from the CSA, 2 players from the FMF, and 4 players from the College Draft leaving each team with 11 players after the College Draft. That means each team will need to secure an additional 11 players through other means by April, if the 22 roster limit number is to be believed.
Only players who completed their college eligibility will be able to be selected from the draft. Players who have been out of college for more than a year, or former players in previous leagues, will be considered free agents.
Unfortunately the draft will not be open to the public or media and the only way to follow will be through the leagues' various social media outlets and it's as yet launched website.
What do you think about the upcoming NWSL College Draft? Expecting anything special to head to the Portland Thorns FC?
Full press release:
CHICAGO (Dec, 21, 2012) - The first National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft will take place on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
The draft will consist of four rounds and the order will be determined by a blind draw. Once the order is set, the draft will be conducted in a "snake" format (i.e. the teams will select 1-8 in the first round, 8-1 in the second round, 1-8 in the third round and 8-1 in the fourth round). Teams will have a specific amount of time to make their picks in each round. A total of 32 players will be selected.
Players who completed their collegiate eligibility in 2012 can be selected in the 2013 NWSL College Draft. Those players who have been out of college for a year or more, are former professional players, or are currently playing overseas and are out of contract, are considered free agents. Teams will be allowed to sign free agents during a specific window of time, which will be determined soon. The U.S., Canadian and Mexican National Team players will be allocated to clubs at a date to be determined.
The start time of the draft will be announced in the near future, but fans will be able to follow the draft on Twitter @NWSL, through the league's Facebook page and on the league's yet-to-be launched website.
The draft is not open to the public or media, but following the draft, representatives from all eight clubs will be made available. The time and location for that event will also be announced in the near future.
"The forming of rosters is always an exciting part for teams and fans and an important step for our new league," said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. "There are some extremely talented young players coming out of college this year and we are thrilled that there will be an environment for them to continue to grow as players and showcase themselves for international call-ups in the future."
The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is an eight-team league organized and administered by the U.S. Soccer Federation that will begin play in the spring of 2013. U.S. Soccer will subsidize the salaries of up to 24 U.S. Women's National Team players while the Canadian Soccer Association will do the same for up to 16 Canadian players and the Federation of Mexican Football will do the same for up to 16 Mexican players. The eight founding clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC (New York/New Jersey), Seattle Reign FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.